Post of the month 12/2019: <br/>The constant wildfire manager

I have been working with fire and landscapes for my entire career, but not in a straightforward way. I have managed two parallel careers with many interactions. My primary employer has been a Local Government organisation and I have held two posts with them; initially I was a countryside Ranger for 18 years then I moved into GIS for the last 16 years until I was made redundant in 2018. These two job roles gave me a good understanding of land management both practical and theoretical and then I managed the GIS team where we were able to spatially analyse our landscapes. My second career has been with the Fire and Rescue Service. I’m currently in my 37th year and am a Station Commander and UK Wildfire Tactical Advisor. Throughout both of these careers, wildfire has been my passion. I have travelled around the globe to work on wildfires and, most importantly, to exchange knowledge about wildfires.

Since October 2018 I have established my own wildfire training and consultancy business My passion and drive is to reduce the number of fatalities from wildfires, particularly in firefighters and to minimise the adverse impacts of wildfires. I fully accept that not ball wildfires are bad and strongly believe that we need to start managing wildfires and stop fighting them. This management starts with understanding the traditional use of fire and researching how we can make indigenous fire relevant in todays wildfire regimes. I have been involved in wildfire research for many years working with several UK Universities and other institutions around the world. I am currently an Associate Researcher with the University of Exeter wildFIRE lab and my primary area of research is looking into the creation of a Fire Danger Rating for UK fuels and habitats. Other areas of interest are the suitability of wildfire PPE for firefighters and the forensic investigation of wildfires to determine origin, cause, intensity and severity.

Andy Elliott
+44(0)7967 504716

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